Sea bass campaign film launched at the European Parliament
A new film produced by EAA and EFTTA has been launched on the 11th October 2016 in the European Parliament calling forthe socio-economic importance of recreational fisheries to be taken into account in the long term management of European Seabass.
Bass angling representatives, the angling trade and charter boat industry launched the new video campaign during an event in the European Parliament in Brussels chaired by MEP Richard Corbett on the 11th October 2016. Approximately 60 people attended the event including MEPs, officials and the press who also heard presentations about the economic importance of the charter boat industry, the example of the Irish recreational bass management system and EAA’s proposal for a monthly bass bag limit for recreational anglers – instead of the unpopular and unfair daily bag limit system.
European sea anglers spend around 400 million EUR a year fishing for sea bass. This activity creates tens of thousands of jobs in the EU through leisure and tourism industries. The bass stocks have been endangered by a poorly managed commercial fishery since the 1970s and anglers across Europe have been calling for conservation measures for decades.
Today, the European sea bass population is on the verge of collapse, according to the latest scientific evidence. Despite the conservation measures finally introduced by the EU in 2015 and 2016, ICES (the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) has advised that “when the precautionary approach is applied, there should be zero catch (commercial and recreational) in 2017”1 .
The management measures for 2017 will be decided by the European Union Council of Fisheries Ministers meeting in Brussels on the 12-13 December. EAA and EFTTA want the recreational sector to be considered in a fair way, given its economic and social importance and its limited and controllable environmental impact.
A proposal for a Multi Annual Plan for long term management of sea bass fisheries is currently also being drafted by the Commission. It will be published early next year and will have to be adopted by the Council and by the European Parliament – which for the first time will have a say on sea bass management.
David Mitchell, Chairman of EAA’s Sea Sub-Group, said: “Millions of members of the public fish recreationally and spend billions of Euros, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and businesses, in pursuit of accessing a publicly-owned resource – seabass. Yet recreational fisheries have been considered a total irrelevance to European policy makers until they decide it’s having an impact on “commercially important” fish stocks and then needs to be “controlled”. Given the overwhelming social and economic benefits of recreational bass fishing isn’t it time specific management objectives to support and develop it were included in the future management of European bass stocks?”